Death of Steve Jobs
Apple’s co-founder and visionary-in-chief passed away in October, prompting spontaneous memorials in Apple stores and thousands of pundits to weigh in on how Jobs changed the world.
Worst. Board. Ever.
After approving a massive payout to outgoing CEO Mark Hurd, Hewlett-Packard’s directors hired ex-SAP chief Leo Apotheker (below) – who had no hardware experience – as a replacement. Then they pushed Apotheker aside when industry and financial analysts complained he didn’t adequately explain why HP was getting out of the PC business – a strategy OK’d by the board.
RIM’s longest year
Things continually went from bad to worse for BlackBerry manufacturer Research in Motion. The PlayBook tablet was poorly received, its new OS has been pushed back another year, market share is spiraling in North America, and shareholders are calling for the heads of co-CEOs Jim Ballsillie and Mike Lazaridis. (Then there was the stampede caused by a sales promotion in Indonesia and allegedly drunken execs kicked off a plane.)
Slewfooting the CRTC
Then-Industry Minister Tony Clement announced that the CRTC’s decision to allow usage-based billing of wholesale Internet bandwidth would not stand. Not in a letter to chair Konrad von Finckenstein. Not in a press release. In a tweet. The newly re-elected Harper government made it clear in the fall that KvF wasn’t getting another term.
Speaking of Industry Ministers …
Christian Paradis replaced Clement in the post after Clement went to the Treasury Board. And despite a new majority and the urgency of such pressing matters as competitiveness in the digital economy, foreign ownership regulations in telecommunications and a 700 MHz radio spectrum auction, there has been no decisive action out of the ministry.
War on WikiLeaks
After embarrassing leaks of sensitive documents, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange came under fire (almost literally – one U.S. right-wing commentator called for his assassination) from all sides. At press time, he was appealing his extradition from the U.K. to Sweden to face what he says are trumped-up sexual assault charges.
Data, data, everywhere
Big Data became the Big Buzzword, with SAS, SAP and Oracle among the vendors looking to convince there’s gold in all that unstructured data you possess – if only you could mine it.
The BYOD dream a nightmare for tech
It started with entitled executives wanting to plug their toys into the company network, and trickled down to the rank and file, with the IT department expected to support countless platforms and form factors. Look for a backlash against the bring-your-own-device trend from IT in 2012.
Google gets Plus-sized
Google took another stab at the social networking space, despite the outright failure of Buzz. Google Plus is up against it in a social networking universe dominated by Facebook, but the breadth of its services could differentiate. Take this as an indicator, positive or negative, of relevance: the first Google Plus member to one million followers was … Britney Spears.
Tablets take off
Every hardware company worth its salt (and some that aren’t) launched a tablet computer of some description, many of them at January’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. But, as one analyst put it, it won’t be till 2012 that we have a tablet market, rather than an iPad market.